Historic Windfields Farm to Disperse, Close

The Canadian Farm was home to Northern Dancer.


Edited Windfields Farm release

Windfields Farm, the historic Canadian nursery that had a major impact on North American breeding, has announced it will close following the dispersal of its remaining bloodstock at this year’s Keeneland November sale.

Founded in Ontario by the late E.P. Taylor in 1936, Windfields has produced 48 champions and 361 stakes winners. The farm is credited as breeder of the winners of more than 10,000 races and horses that have earned more than $84 million.

Included in that group was Northern Dancer, the 1964 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner whose success as a sire had an indelible effect on international breeding over the past four decades.

In an Aug. 20  statement announcing the closing, Judith Taylor Mappin, Taylor’s daughter and farm president, said it was a difficult but inevitable decision.

"What my father started has lasted far longer than anyone ever imagined," Mappin said in the release. "We have been so fortunate with our horses and our staff that we remained in the business we love for decades longer than expected. Now, with the older grandchildren beginning to face their own retirement plans, it is simply time to wind things up. Our horses have been so good to us, it was tough to let go."

E.P. Taylor became the first Canadian member of The Jockey Club in 1953 and was honored with Eclipse Awards as outstanding breeder in 1977 and 1983. His son, Charles P.B. Taylor, took over operations in 1980 and continued until his death in 1997.

During its 73-year history, Windfields was North America’s leading breeder (by purses won) nine times, and leading breeder of stakes winners 13 times. Windfield’s racing stable led the Canadian earnings list 15 times, with horses bred at the farm winning the Queen’s Plate – Canada’s most prestigious race – 21 times.

In addition to Northern Dancer, Windfields-breds included his three sons who won Great Britain’s Epsom Derby – Nijinsky II, The Minstrel, and Secreto. Other prominent horses bred by the farm include Eclipse Award winners Devil’s Bag and Glorious Song; and European champions Storm Bird, El Gran Senor, Shareef Dancer, Awaasif, Danzatore, and Try My Best.

Major stallions bred by Windfields included Storm Bird, Nijinsky II, The Minstrel, and Devil’s Bag, as well as Vice Regent, Archers Bay, Saint Ballado, and Northern Taste.

Among Windfields top broodmares have been major producers Kamar, La Lorgnette, Love Smitten, South Ocean, and Square Angel.